›› Ben Clark

Before City Council took a break for the election last November, they approved an update to the Bicycle Master Plan which sets out priorities for new infrastructure. Two bike routes identified for improvements in the next few years include a North-South route through Oaklands and Fernwood down to Gonzales Beach, and an East-West route parallel to Bay Street along Haultain Street and Kings Road.

Oaklands held a land use meeting last summer to hear from residents about traffic concerns in the neighbourhood, as maintaining Haultain as a safe and quiet street for bicycles and pedestrians is a common priority. This idea was especially relevant because some feared that lowering the speed limit on Bay Street would lead to more cars on Haultain.

Victoria is often called “Canada’s Cycling Capital,” and whenever I hear this I am inclined to believe it is more to do with our climate than our bike paths. With so much of our city dedicated to an increasing amount of vehicle traffic, it is important to set aside dedicated space for active transportation, where all ages and abilities feel comfortable riding from one neighbourhood to the next.

I think it is great that the city has a ­growing focus on cycling infrastructure as part of their strategy. Our Oaklands Annual General Meeting is at 7:00pm on March 3rd at Oaklands Community Centre, and Mayor Lisa Helps will be there to discuss the direction for the city for the next four years. I hope to see you there too!